“Andy, thanks again for making our Balance HK event a huge success. The audience gave you their undivided attention and you could hear a pin drop when you were speaking. I have never witnessed that before, with a room of 170+ people! ”
Maggie Suttie, Chair Balance Network, HSBC Hong Kong
“The process to gaining the right referrals does not happen overnight, but executing Andy’s strategy into your daily business routine will lead to referral success. ”
Tom Price LLB DipPFS Hodgson Wealth Management
“The feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive and we will continue to run the training in other offices in EMEA. ”
Astrid Huijssoon, Senior Marketing Manager Cross Border Trade - PayPal CEMEA
“Andy worked with my business partner and me for a number of months as a referral and networking coach. Our business has demonstrably grown due to the new techniques and skills learned through working with Andy. ”
Dan Hall, Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
“In the three months since Andy delivered his sessions, I've noticed a clear change in the approach taken by everyone who participated. We have already received a number of referrals as a result. ”
Andy O'Sullivan, Head of Sales - Hospitality, Wembley Stadium
“There are many motivational speakers on the circuit who leave behind them just a short lived glow and then there are the subject matter pragmatic, passionate presenters who can potentially change the long term way their audience thinks or operates. I’d put Andy Lopata in the latter category. ”
Trevor Salomon – Director, Corporate Marketing, IFS
“As a direct result of Andy’s workshop, we are now implementing a “networking strategy” that is aligned to supporting our key business goal. Andy’s advice/insights have made me re-think all my customer interactions and even in the short term I am getting results. ”
Adam Newman, Health Outcomes Consultant, GSK
“Andy is an energetic presenter who quickly captured our audience's attention. The content of his presentation was excellent and fostered lively commentary and questions. We will definitely have Andy back for another session and are looking for other ways to partner with him. ”
Jennifer Rademaker, Head of Strategy Development Europe, MasterCard
“The feedback we received from members was overwhelmingly positive, making it one of the best sessions we had all year. ”
Aileen Parsons, Relationship Manager - Strategic Client Services, Paypal
“Andy Lopata is a true role model for any aspiring professional speaker in my view ”
Heather Townsend, author of The Financial Times Guide to Business Networking
“I found the session with Andy really interesting and helpful. It offered a different perspective to development sessions I have been to before and it made me really think about how I was positioning myself at work and what I needed to be doing differently. ”
Tori Henderson, Senior Public Policy Manager HSBC
“Not only my individual life has had a total makeover after I met Andy, as a result of my personal improvement, the networks that I lead are now making a much bigger impact in the society. I can never thank Andy enough and would highly recommend him any time without hesitation. ”
Ruth Lau, Central Marketing, HSBC Private Bank
“At each stage of the event from planning to delivery to follow up, Andy’s approach was extremely impressive. He spent time at the outset understanding us, the way we work and our key objectives and this continued with discussions with us in the run up to the event to shape the session to our needs. ”
Andrew Kelly, Director Human Capital Services, BDO llp
“Andy is really engaging and left the audience wanting more which is a rarity when you work in Finance! He is extremely professional and personable and it felt like Andy really knew the topics and had researched the audience. ”
Nicola Hradek, Co-Chair HSBC Balance Employee Network
“I would recommend Andy to come and spend time with any team that wants to maximize the time of its busy people out in the market ”
Tomas Freyman, Partner, Valuations. BDO llp
“Andy has successfully elevated networking into more of a strategic arena ...................rather than it just being a "skills" thing. ”
Phil Jesson, Director of Speaker Development Academy for Chief Executives
“'Networking' as a topic can often seem forced... about tools and techniques to 'work a room' or 'get noticed' - Andy's take on it in this talk was so far removed from the glib truisms we've all heard before. ”
Bryony Thomas, Watertight Marketing
“I would not be exaggerating in saying that last night was the most well received and successful event YEN London has had in over two years. ”
Jairo Jaramillo - Chairman, London Young Engineers Network
“It is great to work with a speaker like Andy who really wants to understand the audience he speaks to and tailors his content to them. ”
Galina Lebedeva, Education & Events Senior Co-ordinator, Wella UK & Ireland
“I have already received three emails and two telephone calls from attendees who have expressly advised that as a direct result of the presentation they will without doubt be changing the way in which they network. A huge success. ”
Michael Strawbridge, Head of Member Services, Learning and Performance Institute
“Several people were surprised to find out that Andy didn’t work in our sector as he related his knowledge so well and confidently, which was key to getting the audience to buy into his advice. ”
Suzanne Rowse, Director, British Boarding Schools Workshop
“There is a handful of people who I would consider really an expert in networking, and Andy is one of the few people on that list. ”
Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder and CEO, BNI
“Andy's 'The Networking Mindset' networking event was fascinating. I've been to loads of networking events over the years which are always full of people who don't quite know why they're there.... myself included. ”
Nicholas Harkin, Head of Risk & Governance at Close Brothers Retail Finance
“Andy's enthusiastic and interactive presentation at our National conference was very much appreciated by all and his series of workshops for my leadership team has been put to significant positive use. ”
Shona MacDonald, Business Director UK & Ireland, Wound Care. Molnlycke Health Care
“Andy’s style suited our company values perfectly as it is very much based around letting people learn at their own pace and be part of the sessions instead of just being presented to. There was a mixture of experience, job roles, nationalities and seniority in the room and Andy ensured that everyone felt this training was directed at them, such is his way with words. ”
Robert Kenward, Global Development Director, Banks Sadler
“Andy has a can do and flexible attitude and is happy to develop and shape the content in line with the clients changing needs. Feedback from participants on Andy's workshops has been consistently very positive. ”
Una Murphy, Manager BBC Careerlink
“Andy certainly made a difference on how I normally approach / perceive events such as this. ”
Ann Azzopardi, Category Buying Manager, Pret a Manger
“"I was captivated by Andy's insightful and thought-provoking workshop. You could feel the energy in the room at the end. Several people commented that the event had changed their lives!" ”
Miranda Abraham, Chair, Women in Banking and Finance
“Wherever I go, Andy is held in very high regard and I can personally endorse him as someone who is easy to do business with, professional and also great to work with. ”
Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director, Brother UK
“It was the best talk I’ve ever been to. Loved the content, pacing, delivery, structure. Your message was very memorable (imparting that much information can leave listeners forgetting what was said) and you managed the balance between substance, detail and memorability well. ”
Rebecca Aguilar, BBC Worldwide
“In the pre-event correspondence, you were the most professional speaker we’ve ever had. By asking great questions as you did, it helped to make us more professional event organisers. ”
Jackie Barrie, Co-President, Professional Speaking Association South East England

Why most people feel very uncomfortable asking for referrals

When did you last ask?

Five Reasons Why You’re Not Asking for Referrals

1 – You’re worried about looking bad

Many people are concerned that asking their network for referrals makes them look vulnerable or desperate, but that doesn’t need to be the case at all. It all depends how you ask.

If you tell people that you need referrals because your business is suffering, you’ve just lost five clients because you did a bad job or that no one is buying from you, then yes, you look bad.

If, however, you share a recent success and explain how you’re looking to repeat that feat with clients in a similar position, offering to help the people your network know, then you can look strong and confident.

Offer to help rather than ask for help. Believe in yourself, know that you add quality and value and be willing to share that gift with others.

2 – You’re worried about being a burden

When was the last time you helped someone you like?*

How did it make you feel? Particularly when you heard that your help had made a difference.

I’m assuming that you liked the feeling. Most people do. In fact, in my experience, many people get more of a thrill from helping others in their network than they do being helped by them.

So, why are you frightened of being a burden to the people around you? If you’re asking the right people for referrals, people who know, like and trust you and want to help you, then you are creating an opportunity for them to derive pleasure from that act.

Don’t ask and you are denying them that pleasure.

*If you don’t know the answer to this question then you need to be focusing on helping others before worrying about being helped yourself.

3 – You don’t know what referrals you’re looking for in the first place

If someone asked you now who you would most like to meet, what answer would you give them?

I regularly ask that question in talks I give and am often met with blank stares. Business owners and sales people spend a worryingly small amount of time thinking about who they want to sell to and who they want to meet. In the current environment we’re just happy to meet anyone who is willing to part with money for our products or services!

But if you don’t know who you want to meet, how can you possibly expect to ask effectively for introductions to them? Because of the lack of thought and planning, even the suggestion of asking for referrals is far from the front of our mind.

When we do ask, many of us ask for ‘anyone’. That leaves the other party, our possible Champion, with far too much work to do to identify possible referrals. So they do nothing.

Do your homework first; identify who you want to meet and who you know who could make the introduction. Asking for those referrals suddenly becomes much more natural.

4 – You’re worried about rejection

Why would you be rejected? If you’ve done your homework, you should never be turned down when you ask for referrals.

Here’s why. You should only ask for referrals from people who you believe would be happy to refer you. People who like and trust you, who understand what you do and who have the opportunity to refer you.

If you ask people you’ve only just met for referrals, you might be rejected.

If you ask people who don’t really understand what you do or who you do it for, you might be rejected.

If you ask people who are not having the right conversations, you might be rejected.

So don’t do those things!

Understand who your Champions are and then put yourself in their shoes. Who are they talking to and what about? Your job is to make it as easy as possible for them to refer you, so that ‘yes, of course’ becomes the only possible answer. Pre-empt their conversations and tee it up for them.

If you’re being rejected, it probably means that….

5 – You’re lazy

Perhaps influenced by some or all of the factors above, people are inherently lazy when it comes to asking for referrals. We’ll invest time, money and other resources in other routes to market, such as PR or cold calling, but we are content to sit back and let referrals flow in.

But, of course, they don’t. Not to the extent they could do if we were more proactive about generating them.

Referrals will not look after themselves. Your clients do not rush to their contact books as soon as you have delivered a good service to see who they can recommend you to. Sure, if someone asks them for a recommendation, your name might be put forward, but they will very rarely take the initiative.

Referrals offer the best value source of new business. Prospects who are referred should be best tailored to the needs of the business, are easier to secure a meeting with, more receptive to what you have to offer and more likely to buy. Not only that, they are also more likely to be retained and refer to others.

Isn’t it worth going the extra mile to find more of them? 

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